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1291Ancient Greek tragedy  

Broader concept

Entry terms

  • Antike griechische Tragödie

Scope note

  • Ancient (Greek) tragedy is a genre of poetic drama that appeared in ancient Greece. According to the Aristotelian definition in Poetics, it is the imitation (stage representation) of an action that is important and complete, has a significant length and its parts are morphologically distinct from one another. It is enacted rather than recited and, by means of pity and fear, leads to the catharsis (purgation of emotions aroused by the tragic action). Major elements of the tragedy are the “hamartia”, i.e. the tragic flaw or error of judgment that sets in motion the system leading to the hero’s destruction, and “hubris”, i.e. the arrogant behaviour that defies and insults the gods bringing about his downfall. The themes of ancient tragedy draw on the mythological epic substratum consisting mainly of three entities, the Argonautic expedition, the Trojan and the Theban cycles.


  • Easterling 1997
  • Gregory 2005
  • Hall 2010
  • Ιακώβ 1998


  • Katsiadakis Helen (AA)


  • Goulis Helen (AA)


  • 1291


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